Grapes Left to Wither

The Sacramento Business Journal reports that some Northern California grape growers are leaving grapes to wither on the vine. The cause for the waste of grapes is a larger than expected harvest. Of course, the huge harvest is also lowering prices: “Lodi growers are selling some grapes for less than $200 per ton that would have been worth three times that in prior years.”

Bill Turrentine, president of the Turrentine Wine Brokerage, says that wine sales are growing, but they are not growing fast enough to keep up with the amount of grapes that are being produced. The likely cause for supply outstripping demand is the rush to plant grapes in the 1990’s. This situation, combined with a long harvest due to warm temperatures and a lack of rain, mean more grapes than the buyers need. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are listed among the most oversupplied of the grapes grown in California.

[Photo from Sac Business Journal]

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